To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of Author Spotlights and today’s, the second, is of crime author Lae Monie. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. You can read the others here.
Please note: unlike the blog interviews, these spotlights are the author’s own views and, although I endeavour to keep this blog light and cheerful, I do cover all aspects of the genres of fiction and some are likely to be more diverse than others. I hope you will find today’s particularly interesting.
Lae writes crime from the criminal’s point of view not to justify or mitigate the criminal’s actions, but to simply show where the criminal is coming from. She says she has always been fascinated, and angered, by the far too simplistic view perpetuated, fostered and amplified in the media that criminals are ”monsters”, embodying everything that is ”evil”. She doesn’t believe in evil, and says that if there was any evidence of it she is one hundred percent sure it could be seen and found in every single human being. Nature, nurture, circumstances, situations, desperation, upbringing, society’s expectations, pressure, education and that sense that nothing else matters anymore are all catalysts to crime. She explains that her stories reflect just that: the terse, lurid, violent tales about crime and desperation from the point of view of the criminal. They seek to discover the heart of criminality to create compelling reading for those who enjoy crime and are interested in the humanity of even the most unlikely characters.
And from the author herself:
I have so far completed two projects. I have finished the first draft of the third project and am working on the outline of the fourth one.
The first project is called The Vertigo Shot. It is the story of a pair of siblings going on a rampage in their own home and killing all members of their immediate family. One of them will kill herself and her child and the other will blame the massacre on his mentally deranged sister. The appeal to this story was just that, the brother’s insistence of his innocence and the use of his sister’s mental problem as his scapegoat. It was a fun project to write and made me think a lot about portraying mental behaviours in the best possible and objective way.
The second project is called More Hungry Boys. It is the story of a couple of elderly farmers hitting hard times. They are old, tired, and terribly distressed at having to beg their creditors for some more time. When the chance to make some extra money comes along, they grab it. Little did they know that the farm hand they have employed to help them run the farm has caught on with their little scam and has started ‘’hiring’’ his own ‘’farm hands’’ to satisfy his desire for murder.
The third project is called Pay-for-Play. It is the story of a very successful male escort and his subsequent decline into mass murder when he is rejected by the very people who used to shower him with money to spend some time together.
The fourth project is called The Suicide Note. It is the story of a man who, after he decides to kill himself, he makes out his will to a non-profit and posts the cheque of one hundred thousand dollars to the director with a little cryptic note. Is the director slow in picking up the call for help or does she ignore it in order to collect the inheritance?
The projects, like the blog and my deepest interests, reflect my curiosity in individuals’ responses to certain situations. The situations don’t have to be related to crime but the responses do.
This indomitable curiosity stemmed when still in university studying criminology and it went as far as to write a thesis on the IRA and its portrayal in the media, especially the British one. Since then, I have been more and more interested in the portrayal of crime in the media and this insatiable desire to make the clear distinction between ‘us and them’.
Since the early stages of criminology with Cesare Lombroso in the 19th century, there has been this desire, conscious or not, to be able to ‘see’ a difference between the criminal and the ‘law abiding’ citizen.
What has changed since then? In my opinion, very little. The self-professed law abiding citizen still feels the indomitable need to ‘see’ a difference between the criminal and them, the law abiding. Why is this? And how law abiding are the law abiding?
I don’t believe in evil and I don’t believe in law abiding individuals. Everyone given the right circumstances, placed in the right situations and given enough time can and does recur to ‘crime’. The way we justify it to ourselves and the rest of society is what really counts.
And this brings us to the ‘us’ and ‘them’ issue when we deal with individual offenders, middle-class offenders, white-collar criminals v. thugs, the underdog, the mentally deranged, the underclass, the foreigner, the outcast.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with mystery author and former Professor of Psychology Lesley Diehl – the ninety-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/blog-interviews. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read / download my eBooks here.